« AnteriorContinuar »
priests unto God and the Father.” But never is this title applied to any officer, or class of officers, in the Christian Church. The Scriptures contain more than one catalogue of the various Churchofficers, ministers, and ministries, appointed and ordained by Christ; but in none of these is found even the dimmest shadow of a sacrificing priest. (See 1 Cor. xii. 28; Eph. iv. 11, 12.) We read of elders and deacons, of apostles, prophets, and evangelists; of pastors, and teachers, and helps, and governments ; but no priest is named. In the Church of Christ a priest is a thing of purely human invention; the Scripture knows him not. In the *Scriptures just quoted we have a full and detailed account of the means and instrumentalities which God has provided, " for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edi. fying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Eph. iv. 12, 13.) But neither priest nor sacerdotal mediation is to be found among them.
Taking our stand, therefore, upon the Word of God, we main. tain that a human priesthood, pretending to mediate between God and man by offering gifts and sacrifices, is utterly abhorrent both to the teaching and to the spirit of the entire New Testament. We reject it as a delusion and an imposture. There is no Mediator between God and man but “ the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all.” (1 Tim. ii. 5, 6.) There is no Priest but “ Jesus the Son of God," who is “passed into the heavens,” and who "ever liveth to make intercession for us.” (Heb. iv. 14; vii. 25.) There is no atonement for human guilt but that which was made by “the precious blood of Christ;" there is no sacrifice for sins, either for the living or for the dead, but that which consisted in the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.” It is a glorious fact, that “ by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” And this fact alone is sufficient to brand and to annihilate the grotesque system of sacerdotal mummery on which some so strangely dote. A spiritual priesthood there surely is; ordained to “offer up spiritual sacrifices,” prayer, and praise, and adoration, “ acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” But “this honour have all His saints ;” it belongs alike to all believers, and these collectively are declared to be " a royal priesthood,"
" Wash'd in the Lant's all cleansing blood,
Anointed kings and priests to God.".
But in the proper fense of the term there is no priest but “ the A fostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."
From the Priest in the Temple we turn to,
IV. ITS WORSHIP, its “ordinances of Divine service.”—The temple of Jerusalem was the centre of religious worship; the place where God dwelt, and where, by Divine appointment, His worship was solemnly celebrated ; " whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.” Here God was pleased to accept the sacrifices of His people, to hear their prayers, and to bless them. “In all places where I record My Name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee." Again : “ There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim." (Exod. xx. 24; xxv. 22.) A promise of substantially the same import we have in relation to the Church of Christ : “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. xviii. 20.)
Between the worship of the Jewish temple and that of the Christian Church there is, however, an essential difference ; the one was carnal, the other is spiritual. The sacrifices offered in the Jewish temple were “ of the earth, earthy;" the blood of bulls and goats, the flesh of slaughtered animals, the smoke of burning incense, and such like things. These, also, the Apostle tells us, were “a figure for the time then present ;” and, like the glory which shone in the face of Moses, they were destined to be “ done away," and to be superseded by Christ's " better sacrifice.” They were “ carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation ; ” (Heb. ix. 10;) that is, until the coming of Christ and the opening of the new dispensation. Hence that saying of the Apostle, “ For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God." (Heb. vii. 19.)
The worship of the Christian Church is spiritual. Taken in their legitimate connection, the words of Jesus to the woman of Samaria are quite conclusive on this point. The contrast indi. cated by the Saviour's words is that which existed between the ceremonial typical worship prescribed by the Law of Moses, and the purely spiritual worship of the Christian dispensation. Of the typical and sensuous worship there existed two rival centres, Jerusalem and Mount Gerizim. “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain ; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” The question of the Samaritan, plainly implied if not expressed, was, Which of the two is right? Let the Saviour's answer be well considered : “ Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father...... The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a
be brourough the power outward symbo, more enlightenances " was
Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John iv. 20–24.) The temple itself was about to be destroyed; its typical rites and observances were soon to be abolished; and the entire system of its “ carnal ordinances” was ready to give place to a purer and more enlightened spiritual worship. The veil of outward symbols must be taken away ;” and, through the power of the Holy Ghost, the human spirit must be brought into immediate communion with “ the Father of the spirits of all flesh.”
This is the grand fundamental rule of Christian worship: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” In the entire New Testament no other worship is indicated as being acceptable to God but that which is in its essence spiritual. In the language of the Apostle : “ Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,... to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter ii. 5.) To the same import are the following texts : “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. xii. 1.) “Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. v. 18–20.) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. iii. 16.) “ By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.” (Heb. xii. 15.) On this subject, the teaching of the New Testament is unmistakable. The ministry of the Word, the sacred Supper, the solemn prayer, and the hymn of praise, compose the service of the house of God: and these, animated and sanctified by the spirit of faith and of a sincere devotion, will ever constitute "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God.” But in the Christian sanctuary, and as an adjunct to Christian worship, “ incense is an abomination," and "he that burneth incense, is as if he blessed an idol."
(To be concluded.)
INDIA Las rendered important service to England in opening a path of distinction to energy and ability which would have been wasted at home. No century of history can show a longer roll of great rulers than our century of empire in the East. Yet from Clive and Hastings downward, it may be doubted whether one of them would ever have been heard of in his native land. They belonged, mostly, to the upper middle-class; too low for a political career in England, too high to swarm off into the colonies. India has ever attracted the more ambitious, gifted spirits, to whom a field was denied elsewhere. It is thus we must explain the number of distinguished characters which our Eastern empire has produced. Assuredly it was not the system of selection, or rather of non-selection. Test there was none. Directors and others gave appointments at pleasure. It is true that for certain departments, such as the artillery and engineers, the fortunate elect underwent some training; but this was a matter of course. As we shall see, Henry Lawrence at turning-points in his life was indebted for promotion to personal interest. The modern plan of " competitive examinations" no doubt has disadvantages, but at least it does insure some amount of fitness in the candidates. Sir Herbert Edwardes, who grew up under the old régime, does not forget to remind us that Henry Lawrence and Clive, Nelson and others, who may be said to have made the England and India of to-day, would have had no chance in a competitive examination. But the excellent results seen under the old hap-hazard system were due, not to the system, but to independent causes such as we have already indicated,-causes which in altered circumstances have ceased to be sufficient. In the old days, great men were, as they always must be, only the exception; and it yet remains to be seen, whether the new method will not develop similar characters when need arises. We have no doubt of its success, if it is administered with freedom. No one system adhered to rigidly will suffice.
Henry Lawrence's family was connected with India at many points. Of his three brothers who chose an Indian career, John, still living among us, rose to even prouder eminence officially tban Henry. Their father was an old Indian officer, who saw twenty-five years of hard service in the field, fought in the forlornhope in the breach at Seringapatam, and carried to the grave a
shattered constitution, and a spirit soured by what he thought the ungenerous treatment of his country. The father re-appeared in the noble physique, thoughtless generosity, and brusque independence of the son: an infirmity common to both was, that they could not bow to incompetence. The veteran would say, “Now, you're going to school. Mind what I say : keep your fists to yourself. Don't hit any boy first. But if any boy hits you, you're no son of mine if you don't hit him again.” The mother was of the name and family of Knox, and worthy of her descent. Both father's and mother's families were Irish,-Ulster Protestants.
Henry Lawrence was born at Matura, Ceylon, June 28th, 1806. When his mother was asked whether she had any of the famous Matura diamonds, she summoned nurse with Master Henry, and said, “There's my Matura diamond.” A characteristic advice of hers to Henry on his leaving for India was, “Don't marry any one who had not a good mother ;” and, as if recollecting the father's weakness, “Don't be too ready to speak your mind." The latter part of the advice was not always kept. How could it be? Henry and John were two of twelve children, and afford another example of the mysterious differences often to be seen in the same family. Why should these two force their way over the heads of thousands to eminence ? Genius, some will perhaps reply. But it seems to us that genius, like chance, is a more convenient than satisfactory explanation. Certainly in the Lawrences it was not genius, in the sense of brilliant powers superseding or independent of high aim and hard work. Henry was never conscious of genius himself, or suspected guilty of it by others. While his character at school always stood well, his education was a failure. He was slow in acquisition, and to the last his power of literary expression was inadequate to the mass of thought and material at his command. An early friend says, “ I am satisfied, that had our Addiscombe professors been asked to name the cadet, of all the one hundred and twenty youths present at the academy, whom they deemed most likely to distinguish himself in after life, Henry Lawrence's name would have occurred to none." We are inclined to ascribe his success, not to genius, but to natural aptness for dealing with facts, necessity urging on a high spirit, intense love of work, along with a fine field and good opportunities.
It was a grand thing for such a character to be thrown into India just when the Burmese, Cabul, and Sikh wars would be sure to bring capacity to the front. Henry Lawrence's real education was nearly all self-acquired. No one ever owed less to schools and tutors. His taste was for facts, not words. Obstacles and emergencies requiring plans to be flung off and quick decisions